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8 January 2016 – John’s Apprentice Roundup

As we have moved into the new year, our first ever TICA apprentice, John Francis, tells us how he’s been getting on.

Overall, I think my induction week went really well.

We had an introduction to the course and what to expect. I had an introduction to some of the machinery and how to use it. I also did some work on some of the bends that I will have to do to complete my NVQ. I think it went well and my tutors seemed pleased with my progress.

I think I’m developing my artistic side through the amount of drawings I’ve done to correct the patterns needed to make sure everything fits together properly. I went on to do more advanced drawings – going from angular to curved. My drawings were good, so that means it will be more precise when transferring to metal.

In the second week, I spent most of my time in class for my safety passport which entitles me to work on certain sites in this industry. It also means I have a better understanding of health and safety in the workplace. I spent my time learning about asbestos and the hazards involved when working with it. I also spent my time ducting and applying insulation which was good because it gave me a heads up of what I will be expected to do out on site.

In my third week of induction I made a start on my workbook. I was fitting the lagging and casing it with a metal finish and banding it. The finish I’ve been applying on the rigs is the isogenopak pack. Once it’s been fully lagged with the appropriate insulation and being lagged the correct way (either hot or cold) I then lagged the rig with scrim and mastic finish. This is a particularly messy finish, but it’s designed for both hot and cold pipes. It is very unforgiving and can easily break – as I found out. I’ve learned a lot – I just need to put it into practise in the workplace.

While being on induction I have met and made friends with lots of people from both industries and got on very well – especially as there are a lot of us from all over the country staying at Blackwell Grange Hotel.”

John has recently been on placement with Linear Insulation Ltd and has now commenced his next placement with Gads Insulation. Keep up to date with his progress in the next edition of our TICA Times – due out in March!

After my time in London I then moved on to a job in Leeds central square with Phil glover a long standing employee of miller’s. The job was in the basement of a swanky new hi tech building. The metal job in the boiler room had its difficulties as there was work in their that I hadn’t done much of especially on this scale. This job included lagging and cladding huge tanks in a way of which I had not done before. The tanks were measured and made by an external company and when they came it was very difficult to decipher how they had been made and how to put them together. In the end we continued and work it out and the results were good. The tanks were made in a way that was unusual and were made to fit the way it did. There were tanks that was 5 meters plus in height and having to climb around the top harnessed on the top fixing the metal sheets to the tank was without its challenges, there were tight spaces to climb in and out of something I revel in the challenge of doing. Along with the tanks there was also metal pipe work something which I enjoy doing and have done bits of in the past moving on from this job I think the things I have learnt and the perseverance it took to get the job done will ultimately help me in the future.

Overall I am currently enjoying the work here as it is in a city I am comfortable in and the work has been close to the hotel so that is a bonus I am also enjoying the different jobs in different parts of the country with the different people.

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